This month's interview is with authors Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins! Tim is an author and lecturer of international fame. He co-founded the European Templar Heritage Research Network with Marilyn Hopkins and together they have collaborated on many books, including the bestsellers Rossyln and Rex Deus.

Based on hard archaeological evidence, archival records, and modern scientific, forensic evidence, Templars in America tells the true story of two leading European Templar families that combined forces to create a new commonwealth in America nearly 100 years before Columbus.

Heavily researched and told in fascinating detail, Templars in America takes as many twists and turns as a historical mystery novel; this story is a wild ride through the golden age of exploration to the founding of the United States of America.

We spoke with the authors about this book, and about the controversy surrounding the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel.

[PNN] So much has already been written about the Templars, Masons, Rosicrucians etc. What prompted you to write this book?

[TWM] Because the whole subject of pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic exploration is largely ignored and the St Clair/Zeno voyages are a logical subject to deal with, bearing in mind our earlier books which all, in whole or in part, focus on the family history of the St Clairs of Roslin.

[PNN] From the Runes in Oklahoma to the Westford Knight, there is evidence of explorers and settlers coming to the new world from Britain, Greece, Egypt, Rome, and Scandinavia throughout history, suggesting the North Atlantic was busier than the Appian Way. With all this activity prior to Columbus, how was the New World kept quiet for so long?

[TWM] Those who kept such voyages quiet, such as the Egyptians and the Romans, did so for sound commercial reasons - namely to protect their sources of trade. However, not all did keep quiet, the Vikings, for example, trumpeted their voyages loudly by means of the Viking Sagas. The St Clair/Zeno voyages remained relatively unnoticed because of the deaths of both the surviving Zeno brother and Earl Henry St Clair so soon after the voyages completion.

[PNN] What was different about the voyage of Columbus in 1492 that made the powers that be feel they could 'go public' about America?

[TWM] Columbus was financed by the King and Queen of Spain and had to account to them for their support. This led, inevitably, to the creation of the Spanish/American colonies and later to the establishment of Portuguese settlements in South America. Later came the exploration and settlement of the Northern parts of the Americas by the northern European powers of France, Holland and England.

[PNN] There have been many suggestions for what, when and where Atlantis was. Colin Wilson has suggested Antarctica; others have suggested the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, or a lost island in the Mediterranean. Is it conceivable that America (or at least a portion of it) was actually the Atlantis of Antiquity?

[TWM] We are not qualified to comment upon this, but our respected colleague, Andrew Collins has advanced strong circumstantial evidence to support his theory that Atlantis may have been in the region of the West Indies

[PNN] It is almost impossible to talk about the Templars and the Sinclairs without talking about Rosslyn, and indeed you have talked about it at length in your book 'Rosslyn - The Guardian of Secrets of the Holy Grail'. Various explanations have been put forward for the existence of the Chapel, and for its unfinished look. Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas suggested in 'The Hiram Key' that it was designed to be a representation of Herod's Temple. Why do you think it was created, is it based on another, more ancient structure?

[TWM] Rosslyn Chapel was created by the genius Earl William St Clair as a permanent hymn to all valid spiritual pathways, eastern, Hebraic, Egyptian, Zoroastrian, Gnostic and Christian. Knight and Lomas, while they are almost certainly correct in their assertion that the Chapel was also used as a repository for important artifacts and documentation, were completely 'off beam' in their suggestion that it was modeled on Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem. Their so-called proof is highly flawed in that:

  • a) They claim that the transept wall at the west end of the chapel is non-weight bearing and is just a 'folly' is incorrect and has been refuted by several architects and engineers.
  • b) How could it be modeled on Solomon's Temple when no one knows for certain what that looked like. All we have are the biblical descriptions which cane be interpreted in several ways and, furthermore, despite the fact that Israel is the most heavily excavated country in the world, No evidence whatsoever has been found to indicate that the so-called Temple of Solomon ever existed within its boundaries, much less what it may have looked like. Wishful thinking proves nothing.
  • c) The original design for the chapel that was never completed duet to the death of Earl William was for a collegiate church of cruciform design whose foundations were excavated in late Victorian times. A stark fact that both Knight and Lomas signally fail to mention

    [PNN] Do you think William St. Clair had more than one reason for building the Chapel? It has been suggested that a great treasure is hidden beneath the floor of Rosslyn. If we were to excavate there, what would we find? The secret of ancient king making lying in the Holy of Holies, perhaps? The bones of Hiram Abif? Nothing at all? Any ideas?

    [TWM] The chapel was built as a hymn to every known form of valid spiritual pathway whose history was known at the time of its construction (see above). It was also, quite clearly, a memorial to the history and beliefs of the Knights Templar. We are happy to inform you that no ancient kings will ever be found beneath the chapel, much less the head of Jesus. What certainly lies within its vaults are the long-dead Lords of Roslin, buried coffinless and in full armour. What may also be there are parts of the Crown Jewels of Scotland including, perhaps the Holy Rood of Scotland. Documents exist that prove that one of the Lords of Roslin were entrusted with these items for safekeeping and that he was threatened with legal action for their safe-return and that, furthermore, they are still missing. While Knight and Lomas could not have been more wrong in their assertion that the chapel is based upon the design of Solomon's Temple, we both feel that they were right in their claim that the chapel was used as a repository for documents recovered by the Knights Templar in their excavations under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

    Marilyn Hopkins & Tim Wallace-Murphy
    Image Courtesy of Tim Wallace-Murphy

    [PNN] Throughout history and mythology, the same themes tend to recur, including a bloodline, resurrection, an extraordinary interest in the behavior of the heavens, lost knowledge, and periodic natural disasters usually resulting in fire or flood. One might also point to the twin pillars, and the numbers 3,4 and 7 as being of particular significance. Do you think that there is something specific in this that the ancients are 'trying to tell us' or does this just demonstrate that there was once one central culture that spread out across the globe, each new civilization incorporating and adapting information from its forefathers?

    [TWM] Trying to unravel that question and then answering it would take several books. For those interested in recurring themes in mythology we would refer them to the wonderful books written by Professor Joseph Campbell who explained these matters in detail in a manner that we are not sufficiently skilled to imitate. As to the importance of Bloodlines we would refer your reader to our earlier works, Rosslyn Guardian of the Secrets of the Holy Grail, another book that focused almost exclusively on that theme, namely Rex Deus plus the relevant passages in Templars in Americ

    [TWM] Our colleague Laurence Gardner wrote another important work on a specific family bloodline of some importance, The Bloodline of the Holy Grail and, of course, Prince Michael of Albany's The Forgotten Monarchy of Scotland is well worth a read. All of these works, not only our own, trace the course of sacred knowledge passed down through the generations and this, as a matter of course, covers Pillar symbolism and other matters important to the world wide brotherhoods of Freemasons.

    [PNN] It has been suggested by several people that geologically the Earth has recorded large impacts on a periodic basis - every 4000-5000 years (see Uriel's machine, Knight & Lomas and When the Earth Nearly Died, Allan & Delair). The two most recent occurring just before the founding of the Egyptian civilization (approx. 3200BC), and prior to that around 7640BC. The result of these impacts has been (supposedly) the loss of great civilizations and the preservation of some knowledge that has helped the survivors 'reboot' humanity. Does this sound a reasonable scenario to you, and did the Knight's Templar have a piece of that knowledge that they were protecting from the ravages of the church?

    [TWM] No. The knowledge that the Knights Templar preserved and that has continued to be handed down through the generations by the Rex Deus families and the organizations they founded, consists of sacred knowledge of an initiatory nature including the true story and teachings of that great prophet and divinely inspired teacher, Jesus the Nazorean. This was preserved and transmitted at great risk for centuries and is regarded even today as Heresy by the Christian churches.

    [PNN] What are you working on now - any other projects on the Horizon?

    [TWM] Both of us have another work to be published by Red Wheel/Weiser next June or July - Custodians of Truth, the continuing story of Rex Deus. Tim has another book en-route to publication in November of 2005 called Cracking the Symbolism Code, a guide to esoteric symbolism. Marilyn is at present working on a fantasy book for children and, with her collaborators, is writing a sit-com for TV. Tim has just signed a contract for a book on the influence of Islam on the development of European culture.

    Templars in America - Tim Wallace-Murphy and Marilyn Hopkins is available at better bookstores or by contacting Red Wheel, Weiser and Conari Press at: (800) 423-7087 or